Friday, October 19, 2012

NEW COMIC! | RIPPER & FRIENDS, ISSUE 1



Here's the new comic from TRADITIONAL COMICS, RIPPER & FRIENDS, ISSUE 1! Check out some preview pages below. Here's a description:
Meet the dogs of the Jericho Railyard! there is Dirt Bag the dirty dog, Francis the saddest dog of all, the sexy Sabrina, Puddin' and the brains and leader of the group, Ripper! Follow their adventures in friendship as they prank the property manager, Ol Manager McDougal, evade the terrifying Dog Catcher and tangle with college-dropout meth heads. So pass the weed, sink your teeth into a juicy pigeon leg, relax and enjoy the show!!
Click here to order your copy today!






Tuesday, October 2, 2012

THE INCREDIBLY FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF MAUREEN DOWD | BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2012

THE INCREDIBLY FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF MAUREEN DOWD selected to the "Notable" list over at the Best American Comics of 2012. Check out the whole list here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

INTERVIEW | THE COMICS JOURNAL


Matt Seneca and I conduct an extensive, in-depth interview for The Comics Journal. We cover a wide range of topics from my journey into comics, influences, Giotto, Jim Shooter, Francesco Clemente and Howard Chaykin. We talk about comic book philosophies and sexy violence.

Monday, August 27, 2012

REVIEW | MANDORLA BLOG


Santiago Garcia over at his blog Mandorla gives a good survey review of my books from a European perspective of the current American underground comic book movement. Check it out here.

Here's a particularly choice passage (using Google Translator from Spanish) comparing my work to Gilbert Hernandez, whom I consider a hero and who I'm going to try to emulate as far as book production goes (I want to put out a graphic novel a year the same way B├ęto does it) and Frank Miller and Fletcher Hanks:

But of course, if Marra was interesting conceptual grounds alone, it would not be as great as is. His comics are full of originality and ideas, and are devilishly entertaining read. As entertaining to read as it should be any comic, but especially commercial comics. Its formula of exploitation with breeching is what Gilbert Hernandez brings more than a decade vacuuming without even remotely close to the success that gets Marra in this handful of comics. Reading Night Business one can even reecontrarse with Frank Miller as an icon of the eighties, as a child of the age of the heaters, and realize that while we wanted to ignore it for thirty years, the soundtrack of Daredevil and Elektra was a muscular sax touched by a bodybuilder blurred by smoke in the distance. Yes, exactly what Lost Boys. And the feat of being so vicious and yet maintain a comic naivete of Fletcher Hanks, is that how it is achieved? With a singular talent only.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

SANTORO CON 2012, (PART 4)

(from left to right) Matt Seneca, Darryl Ayo, Jonny Negron, Michael DeForge, Frank Santoro, Benjamin Marra, Lala Albert, Aidan Koch.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

GANGSTA RAP POSSE GRAFFITI


Here is some graffiti fan art my Flickr friend Chad Choice and his buddy Mopes made inspired by my comic GANGSTA RAP POSSE.

TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW | INTERVIEW


Jim Rugg and Jason Lex interview me for their podcast Tell Me Something I Don't KnowCheck it out here.

LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! | ANALYSIS AND REVIEW



There's a very good, lengthy analysis and review from Alec Berry and Shawn Starr of my most recent comic book LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! as well as my other comic book work over at the blog alec reads comics, originally posted to Spandexless.comCheck out the full post here. They get into some interesting discussions about Spiegelman Intellectualism in comics as a result from Kurtzman and EC.

Here's a little of what Alec writes at the beginning of the piece:

I would place myself in that camp of the faithful. Like most of the industry, I too was unaware of Marra’s comics up until this year, but now after having spent time with them, I find his attitude and passion for creating engrossing, and I feel his comics represent a long forgotten aspect of the medium. Representing, of course, for the betterment of comics.Marra’s books, while lewd, grotesque and absurd, are keeping this funny book thing on the ground, balancing out the high reaching works of Craig Thompson, or whatever other clone there may be, celebrating some of the roots associated with comics while simply presenting an artist who doesn’t really give a fuck what you think. Marra’s making the shit he wants to see, and from this I feel it’s appropriate we discuss Marra’s work after our previous discussion which pertained to Rob Liefeld. Because Marra, like Liefeld, celebrates the trash entertainment value found in comics, but does so with an energy and charm that cannot be overridden. Yet, as an added bonus, Marra’s comics juxtapose the trash subject matter by presenting astounding craft and draftsmanship, making his books into these bombastic scraps slammed together with staples.

BROOKLYN RAIL INTERVIEW | ASHOK KONDABOLU


Here's an interview I did with Ashok Kondabolu, dapwell of the Hip-Hop group Das Racist, for The Brooklyn Rail. We talk about GANGSTA RAP POSSE.

LINOCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! | BEST COMICS OF THE YEAR (SO FAR)


Tim Callahan lists LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! as one of the best comics of the year (so far). Check out his full list over at his column, When Words Collide, on Comic Book Resources right here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

FREAK SCENE | ART SHOW

Above is some promotional artwork I provided for the upcoming show FREAK SCENE, which is happening in LA on July 6th at Synchronicity. It's presented by Drippy Bone Books and organized by Keenan Marshall Keller (his book GALACTIC BREAKDOWN is bonkers). Everyone in LA should check it out. The line-up is as stacked as they come.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! | REVIEW AT NEWSARAMA

Zack Kotzer's report from this year's TCAF includes a review of LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! Check it out here.

DRAWINGS INSPIRED BY AMERICAN PSYCHO | REVIEWED AT SPANDEXLESS

Alec Berry breaks down the DRAWINGS INSPIRED BY THE FILM AMERICAN PSYCHO Broadsheet Edition Floating World Comics published over at Spandexless. Check it out here. Here are some kind words from the review:
Ben Marra, with the possible exception of Michael Deforge, is the best artist in alt-comics at the moment.
DeForge and I hung out in Toronto this past weekend at TCAF. We're bros. Here is some more insight into the publication from the review:
The thinness of newsprint allows images to be superimposed. Visuals on the back of a page become visible on the front of a page, and vice versa. This layering effect adds background detail to the image being viewed, pocking wholes in the illustrations’ perceived perfection as lines mesh, figures distort and characters begin to move. This technique is best used on the cover page where Bateman stands smirking at the reader, wearing a fitted suite with perfectly kept hair, while holding a bloody knife in front of an apartment complex. The cleanness that Bateman exudes is shattered as the image on the back of the page begins to bleed onto the cover, adding splashes of blood across Bateman’s face and the apartment complex he’s exiting, creating the image of a messy and disoriented killer. Adding these details directly to the primary image would disrupt the “cleanness” of the page  and remove Bateman’s perceived control over the book, but by using the paper’s thinness to creates ghost images, Marra’s able to create a layered effect that gives the reader a glimpse into Bateman’s psyche and his loss of control.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NIGHT BUSINESS | ISSUE 4 | REVIEWED AT THE COMICS JOURNAL

Sean T. Collins reviews NIGHT BUSINESS, ISSUE 4,  over at The Comics Journal. Check it out here. Here's a sample of what to expect:
It’s all deeply ugly and silly and reprehensible and preposterous. It’s also undeniably beautiful, featuring Marra’s best use of blacks to date — I’m having a hard time tearing myself away from looking at the shadows on Johnny’s cheeks and chest or Chase’s back and collarbones long enough to write this post — and paced with precisely the same manipulative expertise as the genre trash it’s pastiching.

LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! | REVIEWED AT THE COMICS JOURNAL

Matt Seneca reviews the first issue of LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! over at The Comics Journal. Check out out here. And here's a sample:
It seems unlikely that anyone would have guessed the missing element Benjamin Marra needed to deliver his first bona fide masterpiece was a dose of realism, but then again he does have a way of confounding expectations. After all, it was always a long shot that the most consistently excellent alternative cartoonist of the post-Kramers Ergot generation would be a purveyor of straight-ahead action serials whose style springs from Paul Gulacy and Todd McFarlane.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

ELF BOOKLETS | AMERICAN PSYCHO BROADSHEET EDITION | NOW AVAILABLE!


Floating World has teamed with Traditional Comics to reprint Benjamin Marra’s sold out Elf Booklet series, Drawings Inspired by the Motion Picture “American Psycho”. The original artwork was rescanned and published as a 32 page broadsheet (15” x 22.75”) newspaper. Three new illustrations and brand new covers were created for this limited edition of 1500 copies.

"Employing Raymond Pettibon’s aesthetics and inspired by the movie “American Psycho”, these 28 illustrations “seem almost mathematically calculated to haunt the eyes they meet: whether it’s the sublimely balanced blacks and whites or the point-of-impact axe to neck shots… the real story here is Marra’s art, which is far and away the best work of his career.” – Matt Seneca, Comics Alliance

Now available to order

SHIA LEBEOUF COMIC BOOK SENSIBILITIES DRAW COMPARISON TO MY OWN

Sean T. Collins reviews Shia LeBeouf's comic book work over at The Comics Journal and draws the comparison between LeBeouf's sensibilities and my own:
So too is his footing upon the fine line between irony and sincerity. Cyclical winks at the melodramatic excess of its story yet does so with a straight face, if that makes any sense. Like, say, Benjamin Marra, LaBeouf understands that the ridiculousness of a period-’60s motel sign (“Pink” in Vegas-style quasi-cursive, “MOTEL” in big block letters, palm fronds swaying in the background) or a demonstrative sex scene between a man with an eightball back tattoo and a dreamlike blonde I can’t help but mentally refer to as “his girl” (“Oh fuck…Davey…Your [sic] the best there ever was baby…the best there ever was…Stay with me”) doesn’t cancel out its weirdly primal power.
This is awesome to me. I haven't read LeBeouf's comics yet, but I've seen is acting work and it's tremendous. I've been telling people he's the best actor of his generation for years. The Transformers trilogy he was in are some of my favorite films from recent years.

Collins also interviewed LeBeouf for Rolling Stone. Check that out here.

LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN! | FLAVORPILL

LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN!, ISSUE 1, is one of Flavorpill's Most Anticipated Comic Releases for April. Check it out here. Here's a portion of what Tucker Stone wrote about the book:
As with his Maureen Dowd comic, Marra provides the pleasures of pure entertainment so directly that it almost fools you into thinking that anyone can do it. They can’t, but that’s the way that genius is supposed to work: you walk away thinking “perfect” is just that easy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DREAD PATHS TREAD: THE ART OF BENJAMIN MARRA | ART SHOW OPENING AND COMIC BOOK RELEASE PARTY

I have an art show opening and comic book release party, for LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN!, ISSUE 1, at the incredible Floating World Comics, in Portland, OR, on Thursday, April 26th, two days before the Stumptown Comics Fest. Portland folks, come on by.

Facebook Event link

Sunday, April 8, 2012

LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN | ISSUE 1

LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN, is the brand-new comic book from TRADITIONAL COMICS. The first issue will make its official debut at the Stumptown Comics Festival and Toronto Comics Arts Festival. Here is a brief description:
It's 1868, the hostile period succeeding the American Civil War. When the freed slave Lincoln Washington shows up in the small South Carolina town, Butchergrass, with coin and a deed to a plot of land the locals are none too happy about it. In particular, Jasper, the son of a wealthy plantation owner. Lincoln, accused of a crime he didn't commit, must draw on centuries of racial injustice to give him the power to fight his enemies and defend his inherently human right to freedom! Witness the beginning of this Reconstructionist-Era action epic!!
Orders will be available on the TRADITIONAL COMICS website in May!





Wednesday, April 4, 2012

STORM FIRES OF DOOM | PHOTO GALLERY


Here are some photos from my recent show, STORM FIRES OF DOOM: THE ART OF BENJAMIN MARRA. Check them out here. Or here. All the photos are great and were taken by William Bourassa Jr. Here's his website.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SWORDS BURIED DEEP | ART SHOW AT SPUR GALLERY


I've got an art show opening at Spur Gallery in Baltimore, MD, next month. Baltimore folks, come to the opening reception on Saturday, April 21st, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

INTERVIEW | ITALIAN VICE


I get interviewed by Italian VICE's Tim Small. It's up over on their website ... it's all in Italian ...
Check it out here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ART OPENING RECEPTION | FEBRUARY 25TH


More details to come ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OBEY INTERVIEW


OBEY's Chris Ziegler interviews me over at their website. We talk about where my ideas come from, loving what you make, stoner-style doodling, photo-reference and other subjects. Here's a piece of the awesome introduction Chris wrote:
Does Marra simply just love drawing a motorcycle tire smearing some thug’s head into pulp on a sidewalk in Nowhere City, U.S.A., circa 1983? Turns out that ‘Fuck yes!’ doesn’t even do the sentiment justice. The adolescent passion unchained here is matched only in the most ridiculously enduring excesses of punk and heavy metal—the soundtrack to what Marra describes as the kind of artwork that spills out of a sullen stoner in the back of the class in high school. His characters and his plots and his worlds themselves are distorted and deformed beyond the laws of physics and society both, but make up for it with the kind of confident enthusiasm you get only when your sword is also a chainsaw, and you can fly, too.
Check out the full interview here.

THE WEREWOLF OF LONDON | RUBIN MUSEUM INTRODUCTION


This Friday at 9:30 I'll be introducing the timeless horror movie THE WEREWOLF IN LONDON at The Rubin Museum. Swing by, hear me talk about horror, have a cocktail and watch the movie.